Add Crushed Crackers To Jamaican Beef Patty Fillings For A Texture Boost

If you've ever experienced a true taste of New York City, you know its streets are flooded with the vibrant cuisines of cultures from all around the globe. The city is particularly rich with echoes of the Caribbean, and on a good day, you'll find yourself standing in line for over an hour waiting for one famous meat-filled pastry that hails from Jamaica: the Jamaican beef patty. Traditionally made with a curry and turmeric pastry dough and stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, allspice, scotch bonnet, and bread crumbs, a Jamaican beef patty is truly its own version of a dumpling or empanada, yet its distinct and unique flavor separates it from other meat-filled doughs.

Similar to the way many add breadcrumbs to meatballs or meatloaf as a binding ingredient for the ground beef, this is the purpose they serve in Jamaican beef patties, too. However, Tasting Table recipe developer Leah Maroney contends that using crushed crackers instead of bread crumbs can pack a whole new level of texture and buttery flavor to the dish. Moreover, in her version of baked Jamaican beef patties, you have total control over how fine or coarse you would prefer your cracker mix-ins to be.

How to incorporate crackers into your Jamaican beef patties

Before making the filling for the beef patties, you'll first want to prepare the pastry dough. This involves using a food processor to merge the ingredients, or you can keep it old school and use your hands. The dough is then chilled while the meat mixture is prepped. Brown the beef, add seasonings and vegetables, and keep things juicy and moist with chicken stock. Now, you can pull out your food processor to combine the meat mixture with the crackers. Ritz crackers work best, but any butter cracker will do the trick.

Pulse the food processor until the crackers are crushed to your liking and completely incorporated with the beef mixture. You can now remove the dough from the fridge, roll and cut it, and spoon the beef mixture into the cut-out sections. Fold the dough to create the shape of the stuffed patty, and then press and seal the edges with a fork. The patties are ready for baking on a parchment-lined baking sheet. The result should be the classic Jamaican beef patty taste you know and love, but with a bit more amplified texture and buttery goodness "that makes the Jamaican beef patties absolutely irresistible," explains Maroney.